3 month old baby sleeping longer / eating less

by Laura

Question: My 3 month old daughter has started going to bed earlier, around 8pm. She used to go to bed after 10.30pm feed, but recently has been very tired before this and is more settled going down at 8pm.

When I try to give her a 'dream feed' around 10.3opm she takes only 3 ounces maximum if at all at times - usually she would take 6/7 ounces. I am concerned that she is not eating enough and obviously cannot force her to take this feed. I offer her more at feeds throughout the day but she just feeds as normal then. She is on 4 feeds of 6/7 ounces and weighs 11.5 pounds.

Thank you :)

Heidi's Answer: Dear Laura,

Having your baby girl go to bed earlier was a very good idea: following her cues of tiredness here will be giving you the best timing. And that will result in the best sleep.

The rule of thumb for feeding is to offer 2.5 ounces of formula per pound of body weight each day.

With her 11.5 pounds that brings you to a good 28 ounces. That means 4 feedings of 7 ounces, as you have now, would give a sufficient amount. So she gets enough overall. A bit less if she only takes 6 ounces per feed, but you're not far off the average. And the 3 ounce dream feed nicely tops that up.

If she sleeps well, is happy and healthy overall and has sufficient good wet diapers, she is most probably fine.

Forcing the dream feed is not necessary. If she sleeps well, then leave her. If she wakes by herself in the early morning hours, feed her if she wants.

And then rather than working with the dream feed, try to fit in an extra milk snack during the day, right in the middle of two feedings, or else by shifting the schedule around a little bit.

In summary: you seem to be feeding her enough right now but top up when you can - preferably during the day in stead of the dream feed. Other than that, do not worry. But of course keep an eye on her - if she seems less content, has very few wet diapers, ... then you need to look into it further.

A good idea is to keep a feeding log: write down exactly when and how much she feeds. Do this for a week or two, that will help you keep good track of what she takes and help you find moments where you can squeeze in a snack.

Good luck, take care!

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